A kitchen equipped with a wood-burning stove, an icebox and a butter churn wouldn’t hold much appeal for most modern-day families, but for those who lived at Howell Farm in the year 1900, it was probably seen as a welcome improvement over the one that great-grandma had used.
Visitors can experience the sights, smells, and tastes of two very different kitchens on Saturday, February 17, 2018 from 11am to 3pm, when Howell Living History Farm features its annual Winter Kitchen program. Cooking activities, recipe sampling, and hands-on experiences are planned for all. Parking and admission are free.
During the morning, the kitchens of the farm’s two houses will be used to prepare meals that farmers would have had for their noontime dinner. Visitors — young and old — will have opportunities to help in both kitchens, modeled from circa 1785 and 1900, from bringing wood to fuel cooking operations, to sifting flour, making butter, and washing dishes. Those who want to help outside can gather eggs, split firewood, and get ice from the farm’s icehouse.
In the farmhouse parlor, visitors can learn how to darn socks, crochet, knit, and more. Upstairs, there will be opportunities to see how quilt squares are made and see a treadle sewing machine in use.
Cooks interested in the all-day open-hearth or wood-stove workshops should contact the farm office. During the workshops, participants use authentic circa 1700 and 1800 equipment and cookware to prepare recipes they will serve and eat. The series begins on March 10 with hearth cooking. There is a $60 fee for each workshop; pre-registration is required.
Howell Farm is owned by the County of Mercer and maintained by the Mercer County Park Commission. It is located on Valley Road, just off Route 29, in Hopewell Township. The GPS address is 70 Woodens Lane, Hopewell Township, N.J. 08530.